Stourbridge 1, Chippenham Town 2

ROSS Adams and Sam Allison gave Chippenham Town a 2-1 win over a direct and physical Stourbridge side at the War Memorial Athletic Ground on Saturday.

A first half header from Adams and a cool finish from Allison after the break put The Bluebirds 2-0 up, and though Les Hines pulled one back from a disputed penalty, Chippenham held on.

Boss Adie Mings made four changes to the side that faced Swindon Town in the Wiltshire Premier Shield, with skipper Iain Harvey, Sam Allison, Luke Gullick and Alex Kite coming into the starting line-up.

Iain Sercombe, Luke Bryan and Jake Gardener dropped to the subs bench and Steve Casey (hamstring) was ruled out.

Ben Highmore did not make his Southern League bow for his new club as he had been due to play for Larkhall Athletic in the FA Vase, but heavy rain resulted in the game being postponed.

Sam Allison had the first attempt after four minutes but directed Kye Holly’s cross wide with his head.

On eight minutes an overhead kick from Leon Broadhurst was deflected over, but there was little more action in the first quarter of the game.

Midway through the half, though, Holly was again causing problems for Stourbridge with his crossing, and Allison and Scott Lye both came close to converting the delivery.

It came as no surprise when Holly turned out to be the provider of Chippenham’s opener. On 32 minutes, the midfielder picked out Ross Adams with a pinpoint left-foot delivery, and the centre back powered his header emphatically past Lewis Solly.

Broadhurst should have equalised for the hosts three minutes later as The Bluebirds went to sleep at the back, but when unmarked six yards from goal, the striker headed over the bar.

Dave Bridgwater and Drew Canavan both smashed off-target either side of the break but it was Chippenham who had the next genuine chance.

The impressive Holly sent his corner to the near post and Lye headed wide from six yards, much to his dismay.

But Chippenham did get their second goal on 64 minutes, with Harvey the catalyst.

The captain robbed the home full back and knocked to Sean Seavill, whose low cross bounced out to Allison, and the forward slotted calmly into the left corner.

The two-goal advantage only lasted five minutes as Stourbridge pulled one back from the spot.

A cross was drilled against the hand of Iain Harvey from close-range, and Les Hines stepped up to send Snoddy the wrong way with the penalty.

Desperate to take something from the game, Stourbridge became very direct and the Bluebirds defence was put under a lot of pressure in the final 15 minutes.

But the Chippenham rearguard held firm, with Adams and Kite in particular dominant, and it was Allison who had the best chance of either side to score late on, when Solly parried his angled drive to safety.

All Stourbridge had to show for their period of pressure was an effort deep into injury time by Gavin Winsper, who crashed over, ensuring a valuable away victory for Chippenham.

The Bluebirds welcome Evesham United to Hardenhuish Park tomorrow.

Scott Lye, who played through a dead leg against Stourbridge, is doubtful, and Ashley Williams (back), Sean Seavill (groin) and Steve Casey (hamstring) are all struggling.

Ben Highmore is due to play for Larkhall Athletic against Dereham Town in the FA Vase.

The Bluebirds visit Clevedon Town on Tuesday.

Chippenham have announced two fixture amendments.

Adie Mings’ side will now play league games against Hemel Hempstead Town on Tuesday, March 3and Swindon Supermarine on Tuesday, March 17, both at Hardenhuish Park (kick-off 7.45pm).